California is the third-largest state in the US with over 163,000 square miles of vast and sweeping terrain. It is one of the most geographically diverse states in the nation featuring mountains, coastal ranges, valleys, rivers, lakes, deserts – and an abundance of public and private natural hot springs.
In order to assist with finding your next favorite hot pool in California, our listings contain access information, pool conditions, hours, directions, maps, rates, facility information, ratings, pictures, video clips and more.
How to Find Natural Hot Springs in California
- California Hot Springs Map – statewide map featuring individual hot springs locations
- Hot Springs in Northern California – listing of all hot springs in the northern part of the state
- Hot Springs in Southern California – listing of all hot springs in the southern part of the state
- Site-Wide Search Box (on every page) – search for your favorite hot springs in the Golden State
- Soak by Feature List (on every page) – access hot springs sorted by type (i.e. overnight, massage, camping, clothing-optional, family-friendly, RV-friendly)
California’s Geothermal Background
California is located within the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is comprised of a chain of volcanoes. This volcanic activity is where California’s hot springs were born.
California hot springs are revered and sought after by many different walks of life. From the rustic natural hot pools that are only accessible by hiking to the easily accessible roadside five-star resorts, California provides soak seekers with whatever their hearts desire.
Why Are Hot Springs in California Hot?
Water heated from deep within the earth due to volcanic activity pushes its way through fractures and cracks in rocks while gathering minerals along the way. Groundwater from rain aids in replacing the water heated by magma and subsequently renewing the cycle.
Hot Springs Safety Precautions
Many hot springs are far from civilization; away from gas, water, cell phone service and roadside assistance. It is incredibly important to be prepared when traveling to new places. First and foremost, know where you are going. Will you be able to refuel along the way or do you need to carry extra gas? Will your vehicle handle the roads you’ll be traveling on? What shape is your spare tire in?
Red Spider Mites
Only a handful of hot springs in California have been reported to have red spider mites.
No Soap or Shampoo!
Hot springs in California are not bathing facilities and do not have ‘plumbing’ like that of commercial, improved hot springs.
Soap and shampoo, including bio soap and shampoo, do not break down naturally and pollute our fragile ecosystems.
FYI, this is also illegal in most wilderness and public land areas. Please report suspicious activity to public lands officials (take pics).
Leave No Trace
It is important to remember when visiting non-commercial hot springs in California or any state to leave them in better shape than when you arrived.
Please leave no trace, bring no glass and embrace the experience.
We recommend cleaning up the area and hot springs before soaking as it makes for a more natural experience and reward for your stewardship efforts.
Hot Springs Checklist
- Tool kit for the car including road flares
- Spare tire, jack, lug wrench
- Electrical tape and duct tape
- Hatchet or small saw
- Tent or some kind of shelter
- Extra clothes including wet weather gear
- Food and water (more than you think you need)
- Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, extra blanket
- Waterproof matches
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- A readiness for adventure!
Visit Hot Springs in Another State!
- Discover Idaho’s Unique Natural Hot Springs – IdahoHotSprings.com
- Explore Wild Hot Springs in Montana – MontanaHotSprings.net
- Track Down Natural Hot Springs in Oregon – SoakOregon.com